The Newfoundland Growlers captured the 2019 Kelly Cup championship on Tuesday with a 4-3 win over the Toledo Walleye in Game 6 of the 2019 Kelly Cup Finals presented by SmileDirectClub in front of a standing-room only crowd of 6,329 fans at Mile One Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Newfoundland, which joined the ECHL as an expansion team prior to the 2018-19 season, becomes the first team to claim the ECHL title in its first season of existence since the Greensboro Monarchs in 1990.
Growlers’ forward Zach O’Brien earned the June M. Kelly Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award. O’Brien led all players in the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs with 16 goals and 29 points. The 16 goals are tied for the second most in a single postseason in ECHL history, just one behind the league record of 17, which was set by Richmond’s Blaine Moore in 1995 and matched by Peoria’s J.F. Boutin in 2000.
The Playoffs Most Valuable Trophy was renamed earlier this year in honor of June M. Kelly, the wife of ECHL Commissioner Emeritus Patrick J. Kelly, whom the Kelly Cup is named after. Mrs. Kelly was an integral part of the ECHL behind the scenes during her husband’s tenure as Commissioner from the League’s inaugural season in 1988-89 through his retirement following the 1995-96 season.
Hudson Elynuik led the Growlers in the series with eight points (2g-6a) while Kestner had a team-high three goals. Shane Berschbach (4g-3a) and Matt Register (0g-7a) paced the Walleye with seven points each.
2019 Kelly Cup Finals
Game 1 – Toledo 3 at NEWFOUNDLAND 4 (OT)
Game 2 – Toledo 1 at NEWFOUNDLAND 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Newfoundland 1 at TOLEDO 4
Game 4 – NEWFOUNDLAND 4 at Toledo 2
Game 5 – Newfoundland 2 at TOLEDO 3
Game 6 – Toledo 3 at NEWFOUNDLAND 4